It doesn’t seem like it’s been four months since I left America for the beautiful Magyarorszag. And yet, in just four days, I’ll be once again boarding a plane that will take me across the Atlantic, take me home to the great white mitten, where snow and family and the promise of two weeks of English await. And then I’ll be off again to Haiti.
I don’t want this time in Eastern Europe to end, but I’m ready for familiar faces and a language that is not only familiar to me, but also understandable.
As this semester comes to an end, I’m struck by how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve seen this fall. I will miss being surrounded by such history. I’ll miss being surrounded by this city.
But this city will go on without me. The cashiers at Spar will no longer be overwhelmed with a mad rush of Americans after Monday night class. There will be more seats on the 47 for the elderly passengers on their way to the markets. My professors will teach more new students, the Christmas markets will be 20 people short, and I’m sure our Hungarian guards will welcome our departure. The green bridge, connecting my Buda to bustling Pest, will not mark my absence; the Hungarian bartenders, baristas, and waiters will no longer have to handle the Americans from Calvin. This city will go on without me.
In a sense, though, I will not go on without this city. It’s become a part of me. I’ve grown accustomed to the forty minute tram rides, the awkward encounters with basically everyone in this country, even the disgusting dorm in which we live. And when we touch down in GRR, when I leave this family for my own back home, I think I’ll finally start to realize how much I really do love this place and its people… and, yes, even its language.
Sziastok, Budapest. It’s been a great semester.